An advisor to President Obama’s Musicians National Service Initiative, Eric Booth will also be the keynote guest at the Australia Council’s third Speaker Series this Wednesday.
The America’s Musicians National Service Initiative is a musical ‘peace corps’ which places artists into urban areas for two years of community service. Expanding the program was central to the arts platform of President Obama, who is now set to create a national arts corps, placing artists across all artforms in fulltime service in public schools and struggling communities.
Professor Brad Haseman, Chair of the Australia Council’s Community Partnerships Committee, and Andrea Hull AO, former director of the Victorian College of the Arts, will join Eric Booth in discussion at the Australia Council.
An author, publisher, educationalist and former actor, Eric Booth is an arts and education consultant for cities, education departments and arts organisations across the U.S. including seven of the eleven largest orchestras in the country.
‘The US is admitting that the fifty year experiment of “art for art’s sake” has been a failure and is launching new enquiries into how the arts can be a central resource for community revitalization,’ he says. ‘As in so many other Western countries, the arts in Australia also stand at a crossroads will it be business as usual, or will arts organizations rediscover relevance and service to their communities?’
While at the Australia Council in Sydney this week, Eric Booth will workshop arts and education opportunities with Australia’s arts organisations; review Artist in Residence programs funded by Australian governments and meet with the Minister for the Arts, The Hon. Peter Garrett AM.
‘The role of artists as teachers and leaders shouldn’t be underestimated,’ says Eric Booth, ‘The U.S. experience shows that appropriately trained teaching artists can enrich communities, strengthen personal artistic practice, and transform the cultural organisations that employ them.’
This is the third event in the Speaker Series, produced by the Australia Council’s Research Unit, and is free and open to the public.